Visitors to Kenmore’s Drawing Room may have noticed an unusual pairing of glassware and ceramic pieces displayed on the gaming table - a beautiful, air-twist stem wine glass sitting next to a Westerwald pottery jug. At first glance, this small vignette may simply appear to depict a wine jug at the ready, waiting to fill … Continue reading Liberty vs. The King: National Identities in Two Lewis Family Drinking Vessels
At George Washington’s Ferry Farm, we largely focus on George’s youth but also eagerly research and learn as much as we can about all periods of his life. During our unexpected closure due to COVID-19, some of our interpretive staff had the chance to study a little more about Washington and the Culper Spy Ring … Continue reading Washington and the Culper Spy Ring
George Washington was the oldest of Augustine and Mary Washington’s five children. The next oldest was daughter Betty, who was born 14 months after George and was his only sister. George and Betty are immensely important to us at George Washington’s Ferry Farm & Historic Kenmore. They spent their formative years at Ferry Farm and … Continue reading Siblings Strained by Revolution: George and Betty’s Wartime Letters
In honor of the Independence Day tomorrow, I want to talk about a pressing question I had as a child pertaining to one of our most popular patriotic songs "Yankee Doodle". We all know the first verse. Yankee Doodle went to town A-riding on a pony, Stuck a feather in his cap And called it … Continue reading Why Did Yankee Doodle Call a Feather “Macaroni”?
With hindsight, the events of history often seem inevitable. America was destined for independence from Britain. All colonists were patriots who saw themselves as a nation and a people separate from the mother country. This was absolutely not the case. Colonists’ views on the appropriateness of independence evolved with events. Over time, British identity gave … Continue reading LiberTEA
In honor of the Independence Day, I want to talk about a pressing question I had as a child pertaining to one of our most popular patriotic songs "Yankee Doodle". We all know the first verse. Yankee Doodle went to town A-riding on a pony, Stuck a feather in his cap And called it macaroni. … Continue reading Why Did Yankee Doodle Call a Feather “Macaroni”?
As an historian, one of the many things I find rewarding is constantly learning. I truly learn something new every day. It's exciting. Many people might find this curious since to them history perhaps seems stale, unchanging, and boring. In reality, history is incredibly dynamic. Things historians thought we knew with certainty for years can … Continue reading Hessians and History: Learning Something New Every Day
Living in Colonial America, disease and illness were defining challenges and perpetual threats of human existence. At the time, there was no concept of infection or germ-theory, no vaccines, no really effective treatments for infectious disease and few public health measures that could reliably curb epidemics. For colonial Americans, it was not a matter of … Continue reading Washington, Smallpox, and the Fight for Independence
“There is no man who hates the power of the crown more, or who has a worse opinion of the Person to whom it belongs than I.” - Charles James Fox, letter to Edmund Burke, 24 January 1779. Quoted in L. G. Mitchell, Charles James Fox (1997:41). “It is intolerable that it should be in the … Continue reading The Fox: A Bygone Symbol of Liberty
“I heard Bulletts whistle and believe me there was something charming in the sound.” -- George Washington Before his first brush with battle, three military adventures worked together to charm and inspire young George Washington’s fascination with the military and helped push him to pursue a career as a soldier in Virginia’s militia and then as … Continue reading Three Military Adventures that Inspired George Washington